Daily note for 22 November 2023

Raindrop is very good for social bookmarking it turns out. Mine are here.

As well as Neilly Neil’s welcome return to blogging, Lloyd is also publishing stuff on a more regular basis. This can only be a good thing. Tuesday’s was a good one, I thought.

Some awesome advice here on how to write a blog post.

Anne McCrossan is great at lots of things and one of those things is data. Found this post from her about data as a utility really interesting.

OpenAI’s Misalignment and Microsoft’s Gain – Ben Thompson’s take on the ongoing OpenAI kerfuffle. All this stuff just makes me nervous about the whole AI thing. Potentially game-changing, yes, but currently stewarded by bozos.

Daily note for 3 November 2023

I published a newsletter on Wednesday, talked a bit about blogging. Hadn’t done one for a whole and picked a fairly safe topic just to get back into the swing of things.

Today’s innovation igloo was a right laugh, as usual. Next time, Nick, me and the gang are meeting on Friday 17th November at 1pm and will be discussing the steps needed for an organisation to become truly data driven. If that sounds like your idea of quality thought-nosebag, sign up!

Have had a difficult week this week. I think I’m suffering a bit with stress, with a lot of work on and things happening at home. That seems to be affecting my blood sugar, which seems very high all the time, no matter what I eat or how much insulin I take. Tuesday I felt absolutely done in and spend the day asleep in bed.

Eddie Copeland wrote a nice post: Maintain, Fix, Equip, Create or Involve. What scale of solution do YOU need? I like stuff about levels of change and it’s helpful for people to remember that change – digital or otherwise – isn’t monolithic. It can mean different things depending on context and the outcome that is desirable and realistic. I wrote my own (sort of) version of this a while ago.

How video and images can help people complete forms – useful from Aderonke Olutunmogun at Citizens Advice Bureau (also, gah! Medium).

Nice new site from Emily Webber pulling bits and pieces together around communities of practice.

Daily notes for 19 September 2023

Redesigning the DDaT Capability Framework.

Can data help me solve this problem?

Dorset Council claims progress with roll out of digital social care records.

Elon Musk: Social media platform X could go behind paywall” Shoulda woulda coulda. People need to stop reporting on what this man says and focus on what he does.

Why Voice Failed as a Platform”. Definitely this: ‘It is too difficult to use voice interfaces for more than just a handful of purposes.’ Setting alarms? Yes. Almost anything else? No.

More scray Chrome stuff.

Daily note for 12 September 2023

It’s Official: Cars Are the Worst Product Category We Have Ever Reviewed for Privacy” – somewhat concerning.

Love this, eccentric bringing back to life of ancient, almost useless technology. Beautiful.

Lovely reflections from Tim Davies, someone I don’t speak to much these days but remember very fondly from the wild west early days of social media and whatnot.

Lloyd on networks, connections and location – and why we need Dopplr back.

Lambeth are in the seat for this Local Digital Fund project on building control. Worth keeping an eye on. (Again, though, why oh why Medium?)

James Herbert reflects on recent engagements around data, and what lessons can be drawn. Definitely worthy of a mull.

As Rob on Twitter says, these five points from TechUK about ‘care tech’ feel a bit sticking-plaster-y.

Interesting links 18 March 2022

Things I’ve seen that are worth sharing.

The Policymaking / DDAT Divide – Jerry Fishenden

Despite politicians’ grand ambitions for DDaT since at least 1996, it’s had relatively little impact on radical government renewal and reform. Yet the political ambition has remained fairly constant during these 26 years: to ensure users are the focus, not providers; to design services more closely around people’s needs and lives; and to deliver more effective, and higher quality public services.

Think Links icebreakers a Miro board template that you can use – Emily Webber

These two quick lateral thinking icebreaker games will help participants flex their creative thinking muscles before jumping into your workshops. I love that they help get people checked into the session and open up new ways of thinking, particularly good if you want creativity in your workshop.

How we’re building our data platform as a product – Osian Llwyd Jones

While companies large and small have made considerable gains in building a scalable and sustainable architecture, we’re left with the uncomfortable questions: is what we’re doing truly providing value? Do we really know who our users are and understand their needs? If so, can they generate insights in a fast and reliable way? As long as users don’t complain and pipelines don’t fail, does that mean all is well? For all our investment in data, are we seeing the return?

The Birmingham Digital Approach – Peter `Bishop

As we enter this new phase, I am keen that we now move away from being seen as just an IT provider to the rest of the council to one where we can start to work more collaboratively in partnership with our service leads so that we prioritise, manage our demand, design and shape and build great digital services together; a place where we cultivate and nurture an environment of working in the open; grow our digital talent and become centres of excellence of good practice across our various digital and technology disciplines.

Sharing our new user research templates and guides – Helen Calderon

Today we’re sharing the first of our new user research templates and guides. We designed these for teams working within the council, and they can easily be adapted for teams working in other councils. You’ll find these on GitHub. Download them, make them your own, and let us know if we can make them even better.

5 videos to help leaders understand digital

Following on from the workshop I ran with LGiU last week on digital for leaders (which went very well, thank you for asking), I shared a few bits with the delegates – further reading, if you will.

Part of that was a set of videos on YouTube that cover some of the important areas that folk in senior positions really need to understand, delivered by people with far greater expertise than me.

Here they are – try and get them in front of your senior leadership team, if you can, and book in a chat with them shortly afterwards to help them apply it to your organisational context!

1. Digital Government: Not Complicated, Just Hard – Tom Loosemore

2. Applying digital to everything – Janet Hughes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wy8jgRLej0U

3. Situation Normal, Everything Must Change – Simon Wardley

4. Human-Centered Data Transformation – Kit Collingwood

5. Designing government services that meet user needs – Martin Jordan

Understanding data maturity with Ben Proctor

I had enormous fun last week chatting with Ben Proctor from Data Orchard about the concept of data maturity in organisations.

Data Orchard have identified 5 stages of data maturity, each of which describe the extent to which an organisation uses data to improve the way it works. The stages are: unaware, emerging, learning, developing and mastering.

In this half hour or so, we discuss important topics such as:

  • why using data is a cultural, not a technology issue
  • what some of the technology barriers can be
  • what steps needs to be taken for an organisation wanting to be data mature
  • the state of open data in the UK
  • why bats are interesting in a data sense, much more so than newts

Ben mentions are few projects and things during the conversations, here they are for your convenience:

If audio is your preferred medium, then you can find this on Soundcloud too.

LINK: “An open data standard for planning applications?”

We’re working to find out what a digital planning application service would look like if it were “so good, people prefer to use it”. However, one of the early things we learnt was that high quality data is the key enabler of providing a better digital service. 

Original: https://blogs.hackney.gov.uk/hackit/An-open-data-standard-for-planning-applications

LINK: “Improving London-wide planning data: what we found…”

There are bigger issues at work: software that does not reflect the needs of its users, a Planning Portal that does not collect as much data in a useful form as it could, and teams who might benefit from tapping into another’s information and workflows.

Original: https://medium.com/@SmartLondon/improving-london-wide-planning-data-what-we-found-665de6b27d1a